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Southwest Airlines' revenues soften in Feb-2009 as business travel declines significantly


Southwest stated revenues softened in Feb-2009, compared to Jan-2009 levels, bringing year-on-year passenger unit revenues to the +2% range for the first two months of 2009. Business travel, in particular, has softened “significantly”, as measured by a decline in the percentage of full-fare traffic. As a consequence of the continued deterioration in revenue and booking trends and the current economic environment, Southwest’s revenue outlook for the remainder of the year “is more cautious”. [2109 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Feb-09 load factor improves after three consecutive months of year-on-year capacity reductions
  • To shrink for first time in 23 years in 1Q09
  • Defers aircraft deliveries
  • Plans conservative start-up at Boston Logan
  • A new strategy and new issues
  • Celebrates 30 years at New Orleans
  • Busy signing new labour agreements
  • Overhaul of frequent flyer programme and website on the cards
  • Settles FAA civil penalty for USD7.5 million

Graphs and data:

  • Select US carrier's yield (cents per RPM) 4Q08
  • Southwest monthly passenger traffic (millions) and load factor (%): 12 months to 28-Feb-08 vs 12 months to 28-Feb-09
  • Southwest capacity (ASKs) growth: Jan-04 to Feb-08
  • Southwest orders: 2009 to 2016: as at Jan-09 (Sep-08 plan in brackets)
  • US Air Traffic Hubs: 2007
  • Southwest's New Orleans Statistics
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport capacity breakdown by carrier (seats per week as % of total)
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